Hitting back at the Gujarat government for unilaterally deciding to stop the flow of Narmada water for irrigating summer crops in the state, a farmers’ body on Saturday said the move will adversely hit thousands of farmers in north and central Gujarat districts.
Gujarat Khedut Samaj has claimed that the water meant for irrigation was being diverted for industrial use during the summer season. The organisation’s secretary, Sagar Rabari, has also threatened to take legal steps against the state government’s decision. “We feel that the move to cut Narmada water for farmers is a kind of revenge taken by the state government after the BJP suffered heavy electoral losses in rural areas in the state assembly elections,” Rabari said.
The Gujarat Khedut Samaj said while the industries, last in the ladder of Narmada project beneficiaries, will continue to get water throughout the upcoming summer season, it will be farmers who bear the brunt of the state government’s decision. On Friday, the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited issued a circular alerting farmers not to take up the cultivation of summer crops as Narmada waters meant for irrigation will be available only till March 15, 2018.